My friend and I sat down one afternoon with lunch and coffees. After starting work at a marketing agency, my friend handed me the book Raving Fans.

She told me it was required reading for all newly hired employees. She enjoyed the book and told me to read it, so I did.

It was nice to hear about an agency that seemed so focused on customer service and client happiness. The book supports the idea that if you are customer focused, you can create Raving Fans, which are the clients/customers who refer you more business. You can do a good job and have a happy client, but the next step is to create a true Raving Fan, which is a much more valuable asset. It’s a win-win: your client gets much deserved, superb service and your business, in turn, thrives. It’s not about doing what’s expected, it’s about offering service like no other.

I read the book in one sitting and got some good ideas. Eight months later, this time with glasses of wine instead of cups of coffee, my friend vented about how fed up she was for getting more and more accounts tacked onto her already full client load. There was no way she could get done what she needed to get done in 40 or even 50 hours each week. And she wanted to create Raving Fans. She wanted to have a strong relationship with each of her clients. How could she do that if she was spread so thin? She got reprimanded for staying on the phone too long with clients. She was trying to build relationships like she knew how to do!

And she was. She was the only Account Manager who scored 10 out of 10 in all her satisfaction surveys that were given to the clients at the close of a project, asking how satisfied they were with the service. Yet she was still overloaded and still pressured to spend less time with clients, as it was affecting the “bottom line”.

Often times we see companies making silly requirements like this to just check the box, and not really meaning it. Yup, we’re committed to our clients. Yes, we teach our employees how to turn clients into Raving Fans because we tell them to read this one book that’s highly rated. But there’s no follow up. No continued support after each employee starts working with their client load. No training on exactly how to be customer centric.

I find myself thinking about our un-agency. Do we do those things? We don’t require our team to read Raving Fans. Should we? What do we currently do to be customer centric? Is it enough? What more can we do? How can we continue to support our internal team so that they are encouraged and rewarded to go the extra mile? What resources does our team need at their disposal?

Most importantly – when we say something, do we really mean it?

We want to create Raving Fans. We mean it. So we’re working more on our follow through and support so we aren’t just “checking the box”.

As we focus more on creating Raving Fans, we’ll write more on this topic as it’s an important one. I look forward to sharing.